Monday, May 16, 2011

Houston Greek Fest

The annual Houston Greek Fest at St. Basil's is not the largest Greek cultural event in town—that distinction belongs to the three-day Houston Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Montrose—but you wouldn't have guessed it from the crowd that gathered at St. Basil's yesterday for gyros, Greek music, and frappés.

The Greek national anthem:

The highlight of the afternoon—apart from the delicious spanakopita—was the Niko Niko’s World Gyro Eating Championship, an official Major League Eating event hosted by local Greek restaurant Niko Niko's in conjunction with the International Federation of Competitive Eating. (Incidentally, it kind of blows my mind that competitive eating is somehow considered a sport.) Competing for the $4,000 purse were some of the top-ranked eaters in the world, including #1 ranked Joey Chestnut (of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest fame).

Chestnut's total of 21 gyros in ten minutes tied the record Bertoletti set in 2009. Bertoletti came in second place, just one gyro short with 20.

It was impressive, to say the least, but let's just add that there should never be that much tzatziki sauce flying off a stage...

More pictures of the festival: